TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society


Welcome to the website of the Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS).


The Society's core aim is "To encourage and promote the study of the archaeology, heritage and history of the catchment area of the River Till".


We would like to share with you our interest in and enthusiasm for, everything to do with the history of the Till Valley and its river catchment, in north Northumberland. However, we are not averse to straying into other areas of the Border lands when it suits us to do so!


< Please click on the tabs on the top left-hand side of this page to learn about the Society and its activities.





Photo-River Till, looking south from Twizel Bridge


The website has a dual purpose:-

Firstly, we wish to reach as wide an audience as possible so that, hopefully, those interested will want to attend meetings, excursions, archaeological 'digs', field walking and social occasions and become members of the Society.

Secondly, the intention is to keep members up-to-date with all the latest news and to inform them on what has happened, what is happening and what is planned for the future.

The Till Valley in north Northumberland, UK, is rich in history and archaeological sites. It is also an attractive and varied landscape. The River Till rises high up in the Cheviot Hills and is named the River Breamish in its upper reaches, becoming the River Till at Bewick Mill. It is a major tributary of the River Tweed and, unlike other tributaries, its course lies entirely in England. It is a long river, perhaps 40 miles, although it is difficult to be precise because of its many twists and turns before it finally flows into the River Tweed at Tillmouth.                      


All photos on this and other pages © TillVAS or members who have given permission.

Photo-A concentrated effort in a trench below Branxton Hill in the area where the Scots army found themselves in difficult ground on 9th September 1513 at the Battle of Flodden.

The counter below shows the number of visitors to the website since October 2013:-

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© TillVAS


MAY 2015


Members will have been shocked to learn that Chris was rushed to the RVI in Newcastle following a brain haemorrhage on 10th May. Chris has been in intensive care and will be in hospital for some time. Our thoughts are with him and also with Nevenka and we all hope that he will eventually make a full recovery from what has been a terrible experience for him. We will keep members up-to-date on Chris's progress as and when we receive information.


The excavation season continues—24th May to 6th June. Members will have received details and booking arrangements from Jenny Vaughan or from Maureen.


Many thanks to the volunteers who manned the TillVAS stand at this Local and Family History Weekend held on Saturday and Sunday, 2nd & 3rd May in Guildhall, Berwick-upon-Tweed. It celebrated the unique heritage of the English and Scottish Borders. There was a good deal of interest in our stand; we made some very useful contacts and sold books and magazines as well!

THANK YOU to Clare and Frank Dakin for allowing us to visit Castle Heaton on the evening of 28th April and for acting as our guides, not only around the remains of the castle walls and buttresses, but also around the policies including the 'hollow' and down to the River Till. Thank you also to Heather Pentland for organising the visit and Maureen Charlton for the administrative arrangements. The company looked very professional in the new TillVAS hard hats procured by Alan Urwin!


Thank you to TillVAS members and to everyone from Branxton & Crookham who came along to the two  village walks on 13th and 14th May. Click on the tabs for the Branxton & Crookham Village Atlas and the Photograph Gallery.



On 3rd June, the talk will be by Clive Waddington on "Excavations at High Hauxley". The talk will be in Crookham Village Hall, at 7.30pm.



1. 19th May. The next free Introductory Lecture on Scottish Archaeology on Tuesday evenings in Birgham Village Hall from 7.00pm until 9.00pm. Members will have received  details from Flodden1513.

2. 17th June. There will be a coach visit to Vindolanda Roman fort and civilian settlement just south of Hadrian's Wall, as well as a look at the Roman Army Museum. Details of arrangements and how to book have been e-mailed to members.

Please click on the Latest Newsletter page to see the May Newsletter.


Please note that TillVAS now has its own Twitter account in order to 'spread the word'. To see what it is like and to see all the links that are building up, simply enter @TillVAS in your browser.


Click on Report on Events, above, for detailed accounts of press reports.


The Society operates a bookstall at all its meetings.

Items for sale include:-

1. The Society's first publication Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed at £10 per copy and

2. Vivian Wilcock's Andrew Todd 1844-1908 ( with research input by TillVAS members) at £5 per copy.

See the Publications page for more about these books. Copies of Breamish and Till are also available in Cornhill Village Shop, Etal Village Shop and Ford Village Shop.


There are also archaeological books and journals for sale. Net proceeds of sale go to TillVAS funds.